Dr. Hugh G. Jellie
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Corneal Crosslinking

Corneal Crosslinking eyedropsCorneal Collagen Crosslinking with Riboflavin (CXL) is a procedure developed in Europe and approved by Health Canada in 2008. It is currently undergoing investigation by the FDA in the United States. The indications for this treatment are for corneal conditions where the cornea structure is weak causing visual distortion. The most common of these conditions is Keratoconus where the cornea is biomechanically unstable.

Collagen Crosslinking stiffens the cornea by strengthening the bonds between the collagen molecules. The procedure is performed as an outpatient and is approximately an hour in length. The first part of the procedure involves your doctor creating a corneal abrasion using topical anaesthesia then instilling Riboflavin (vitamin B2) eye drops to your eye to saturate the cornea. This is then followed by the illumination of the cornea by an ultraviolet light for 30 minutes. Afterwards antibiotic drops and a bandage contact lens is used to promote healing.

Corneal Crosslinking ultraviolet illuminationSafety and outcomes are always a concern. To be a candidate for this procedure it is recommended that the cornea is at least 400 microns in thickness, therefore advanced cases of Keratoconus are not treatable with this method.

The results have been very positive to date. Early FDA findings and European experience show that Crosslinking halts the progression of Keratoconus and Ectasia after LASIK, improves the visual acuity and has an excellent safety profile. Speak to your doctor about this procedure and whether CXL can be a benefit to your eyes and where it fits in your overall care of your Keratoconus or other eye conditions that may cause corneal weakness.


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© 2011 Dr. Hugh G. Jellie